Former Infosys CFO wants certain board members removed
Former CFO V. Balakrishnan says the continuation of Ravi Venkatesan and Roopa Kudva on the Infosys baord looks highly tenable in light of the company filing consent plea with Sebi over Rajiv Bansal’s severance pay case
Bengaluru: V. Balakrishnan, former chief financial officer of Infosys Ltd, on Saturday sought discontinuance of certain board members in light of the company filing a settlement plea with the Sebi on corporate governance lapses relating to severance pay to former CFO Rajiv Bansal.
“I think the continuation of certain board members like the erstwhile co-chairman (Ravi Venkatesan) and the audit committee chairman (Roopa Kudva) looks highly untenable in light of the current development of the company filing consent agreement with Sebi over Bansal’s severance pay case,” said Balakrishnan. In view of the current development it is all the more important to restructure the board and fill it with people of high integrity and stature, he added.
The scathing communication to the stock exchanges blaming Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy for all of the board’s lapses was “unprecedented”, said Balakrishnan, adding that the Infosys board had consistently denied any wrongdoing and in fact blamed Murthy terming his questioning as a “misguided campaign”.
“Murthy always stood for high level of corporate governance and only acted in the interest of protecting a great institution like Infosys,” Balakrishnan said.
Infosys had on 6 December had approached the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) with an application to settle the issues arising out of alleged disclosure lapses on severance pay to Bansal. In a regulatory filing to the BSE, Infosys had said the settlement application made to Sebi was neither admission of guilt nor a denial. It, however, did not disclose what it had proposed in the settlement application.
Infosys, under new Chairman Nandan Nilekani, moved the application as part of its attempt to settle the issues that had cropped up during the tenure of former CEO Vishal Sikka.
Murthy had first raised the issue of failure in corporate governance at Infosys soon after the company gave a huge severance pay to Bansal after the acquisition of Israeli technology firm Panaya. The founder continued to put pressure on Infosys to come clean, including seeking the resignation of then Infosys chairman R. Seshasayee.